Angina    Quit Smoking Now!    Heart Disease Risk Factors    arthritis pain HOME

About Arteriosclerosis & Cardiovascular Risk

Risk factors are conditions or behaviors that increase your chances of getting a certain disease. This page discusses risk factors for arteriosclerosis coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease). There are different types of risk factors for other cardiovascular conditions, but these are not discussed here.

Some risk factors for arteriosclerosis heart disease can be treated or controlled and some can not. The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk of developing coronary heart disease and arteriosclerosis. The higher your level of each risk factor, the greater your risk of developing coronary heart disease. The best way to prevent coronary heart disease is to:

Uncontrollable Risk Factors:

Increasing Age

Family History

Children of parents who developed coronary heart disease before age 55 are more likely to develop it themselves.

Racial or Ethnic Background

African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, and other Native Americans have greater risk than Caucasians.

Controllable Risk Factors:

Physical Inactivity


Overweight or Obesity

For more information, see: NIH's Aim for a Healthy Weight: Assessing Your Risk.

High Blood Pressure

High Blood Cholesterol

Diabetes Mellitus

People who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes have increased risk, especially without healthy eating and regular ongoing exercise routines.

Other Contributing Factors

Stress ...

People who have too much stress or who have unhealthy responses to stress may be at greater risk of having arteriosclerosis coronary heart disease.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for the Treatment of Menopause ...

Some women who take hormone replacement therapy for the treatment of menopause may have increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.

home page